Athenaeus has preserved a jest from the court of Lysimachus, one of Alexander’s generals:
King Lysimachus, who was somewhat stingy, once put a wooden scorpion into the dress of a parasite, for the purpose of frightening him. “I will frighten you, sir,” he said; “give me … two hundred pounds!”
— Athenaeus, book vi. p. 246. E.
The rewards of the flatterer may be considerable, but the service is grim all the same.